ALAMOSA — San Luis Valley Health is honoring the San Luis Valley Quilt Guild with their 2019 Community Partner Award at the Stephanie L. Miner Walk on Sept. 21. Since 2013, the Quilt Guild has been helping take care of cancer patients at San Luis Valley Health by providing every new patient starting treatment a handmade quilt and matching bag to provide comfort while they go through treatment.
San Luis Valley Health honors a community partner annually at the Stephanie L. Miner Walk each year. The person or organization selected to receive the award has shown a consistent, long term commitment to the physical, mental, spiritual or emotional health to the communities of the San Luis Valley and has been active in collaborating with San Luis Valley Health.
The Quilt Guild became active in the cancer community when they were struck with the tragic news that a couple of their members were diagnosed with cancer. While the Quilt Guild has always utilized their talents to provide comfort to those who need it most, Judy Freeark, a master quilter and fiber artist, began a legacy that has proceeded her. Judy utilized her new diagnosis to help people like her, people who needed comfort through a hard time.
The Quilt Guild was immediately behind her and began producing quilts for cancer patients. While going through treatment, Judy set a goal to make 100 quilts for other patients. She was able to accomplish 50 quilts before her passing in 2016. The Quilt Guild have used the large fabric stashes from those who have passed to honor the memory of the members they have lost. Over 300 quilts and bags have been donated over the last six years to San Luis Valley Health’s cancer patients.
Susan Foster and Janet Davis, members of the Quilt Guild, proudly share their passion with 45 other Quilt Guild members throughout the Valley. Davis says this is important to the guild because they “are sharing what they love to do with others.” She reported that local quilt guilds are often rooted in community service and are called upon when there are disasters to offer some small comfort.
In addition to their quilts for cancer patients, they provide quilts to Victim Advocates for each county in the San Luis Valley as well as Tu Casa to hand out to victims in need of extra comfort.
“We so appreciate that the hospital has recognized this effort of ours that was started by our own Judy Freeark,” said Foster. “What an honor to Judy and her family that this legacy continues, and we’re proud of that.”